Labour law in Israel
By LAURE DREYFUS, Attorney
Flexibility in labour
The Iraeli system is ultraliberal.
As in the U.S. or in Great Britain, helping is not a notion on the market place ! There are no contracts or employment laws
as in France unless you are on a tenure track, which is becoming much less frequent.
Dismissal does not need any motive. According to the law, no reason is necessary: if you are OK, you keep your job, if there
is a change in your situation, you will be fired.
But this system has also advantages: Since the taxes paid by the employer are not too heavy, it is easier for an employer to
hire people, to test if the worker fits without being afraid of the financial and administrative burden of dismissing an
This system has positive and negative aspects:
Positive: it gives you more chances to get a job, since it is easy to fire you if there is a problem
Negative: there is no job security and the competition is continuous
Here is some information to better understand labour law in Israel:
Work and rest:
Working day: 8 hours, 3/4h break every day, 1/2h being continuous for lunch
Day work: between 6:00 and 22:00
Week's work: a maximum of 45 hours
Weekly rest: 36 hours- Shabbat is the official day of rest (exceptions for non Jewish workers who get another day of rest
according to their religion)
Holidays: Workers have between 14 and 28 days of paid work (depending on seniority), and official religious and national
Minimum salary : 3585.18 NIS per month
143 NIS per day
19.28 NIS per hour
Travel expenses: they are mentioned on the pay slip but are not included in the salary. The amount depends on the price of
the month long travel pass in the city where you live.
Overtime for employees who do not have a global contract
125% for the first 2 hours
150% for the following ones
By law, the employer must pay the salary on the 10th of the following month
Sickness days 18 days each year paid according to the following rules
Jours de maladie:
0% for the first day
37,5% for the 2nd and 3rd day
75% from the 4th day
Included in these 18 days are: 6 days to take care of sick children (aged less than 16) or of a parent (more than 65), or of a
spouse in case of medical assistance, and 7 days to stay with his wife during exams and medical care for pregnancy
After the birth the mother receives some allocations:
Maanak leida: money (given at the hospital after birth
dme leida ( maternity leave)-family benefits ( these sums are paid by the Bituach Leumi)
around 200 NIS for the first child from birth to age 16.
Maternity leave : 3 months: if the woman has worked for at least 10 months or has subscribed (liberal profession). If she
has not worked for the required 10 monts but worked only 6 months, she is entitled to half of this amount :42 days
We come back to the principle of flexivility of labour: the right to fire an employee without having to give a reason
Dismissal - dismissal compensations: one month of salary per year of employment with a maximumof 10000NIS per month
Dismissal notice: no notice for the 76 first months of employment; after one year , one month
To receive unemployment compensations, you must answer certain conditions:
to be more than 20 years old and not yet retired
to have worked for a minimum of 360 days over a period of 540 days
to have been dismissed
If you have resigned: the unemployment compensations will be paid only after 3 months. This is also the case if the
candidate refuses without a ggod reason a job offer from the employment agency .
You must be present and sign at the employment agency every week at a time fixed by the agency
The period one can receive and indemnity depends on the person and on the number of people dependent on his/her salary.
The maximum time is 175 days
The amount of money to be paid is the result of a calculation on the basis of the daily salary and the set sum of 288 IS (
the aim being of course not to stay unemployed and to activate the labour market)
There are obviously exceptions to these conditions:
Some resignations are considered by law as dismissals from the point of view of unemployment (for instance a spouse who
must resign because of moving, or because of the health of the employee or of a close member of his/her family, of a
bankruptcy, of worsening of work conditions, battered women ...)
There are some limits to the right of dismiss a worker: a pregnat woman who has declared her pregnancy, or the period
that directly follows her coming back to work
The work contract must not be written but the conditions of employment cannot be worse for the worker than the legal
minima fixed by law.
As a conclusion, some elements to better understand the pay slip:
Income taxes and social insurance (bituach leumi) are directly deduced from the salary each month
Old age pension is based on a voluntary monthly contribution ( a fixed percent of the salary) paid by the employee and the
employer to a retirement fund .
Bitouach menahalim is a sum contributed by the employer to insure payment of dismissal indemnity. This type of
insurance allows also life insurance.
Keren ichtalmout: the employer deposits 7.5% of the salary and the employee 2.5% for on a saving account. The money can
be used after 6 years (without taxes), when retiring, for a professional formation after 3 years, or in case of death of the
Maitre Laure Dreyfus, Haifa